The biggest platform for startups on the continent, DEMO Africa has over the years been playing an active role in showcasing the best technology companies. This year is not an exemption. DEMO Africa just recently announced the shortlisted 30 startups that would pitch to a global audience this year in Lagos, Nigeria.
Since the first edition of DEMO Africa, Nigeria has always been represented.
All three startups that represented Nigeria at the inaugural edition of the event in 2012 are still doing great – there’s Prowork, Eskimi is still playing in the mobile-centric social media space, and the premier gaming company in the country, Maliyo Games currently has more than a dozen of mobile and web games to its name.
Of the Nigerian startups at DEMO Africa 2013 - ChopUp, OTGPlaya, Save & Buy and RAMP, I know of Save & Buy, and ChopUp with its locally relevant mobile games as well as its funding late last year. All the Nigerian startups that showcased their solutions and product in 2014 are still very much around - Hutbay and PrepClass being the most recognizable of the lot. IroFit was another interesting startup proffering connectionless card payments.
The broader picture, in 2012 and 2013, 40 startups showcased their solutions at the annual event. This was above that of 2014 and 2015 with 30 companies each.
Kenya hosted the first edition in 2012 and lead the table with 14 startups, followed closely by South Africa with 11. No other country had up to 5 representatives - Ghana and Nigeria had 4 and 3 respectively.
The event returned to Kenya in 2013, but it was a turn-around for host nation - South Africa topped with 12 startups while Kenya dropped to 9, Egypt had 5, from 1 the previous year and 4 companies represented Nigeria.
When DEMO Africa came to Nigeria in 2014, the giant of Africa was heavily represented with 14 startups, accounting for 46% of all the startups that pitched that year. Kenya and South Africa were represented by 5 and 2 startups respectively, a great decline compared to the previous years.
For this year's event which is coming back to Nigeria, the host country and Kenya top the table with 8 startups each, South Africa follows with 3 and no other countries have more than 2 companies for the year. DEMO Africa 2015 is scheduled to take place between 21th and 25th September at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria.